A Kentucky man has sparked outrage after a picture emerged online of he and his five-year-old son sporting particularly inappropriate Halloween costumes.
The photo, which was taken on the way to a children’s trick or treat event in Owensboro on Thursday, shows Bryan Goldbach dressed as a Nazi soldier and his son as Adolf Hitler.
The father posted the picture on social media, receiving heavy criticism, with many saying the choice of costume was in poor taste.
Goldbach said he chose the uniforms because of his love for portraying historical figures. The father said it didn’t occur to him that the photo would stir as much controversy as it did but acknowledged that he didn’t think the idea through. He has now apologized saying he regrets the decision.
“I wasn’t trying to make a statement or put my son in any position,” Goldbach said, according to The Owensboro Times. “It was bad judgment. I want people to know I am sorry.”
"I think it was in bad taste for me to let my child to wear that, probably for me to wear that. It didn't occur to me. I thought it was a bad decision on my part," ABC-affiliate WEHT Eyewitness News reported him as saying.
Gay Mazo, a rabbi at the Temple Adath B’nai Israel Synagogue, which serves the tri-state area of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, said in a statement that people should be more mindful when it comes to choosing Halloween costumes.
“The fact that the father apologized is important; the fact he did not know the costumes would be offensive is a very sad reflection on our society,” Mazo said, according to ABC-affiliate WEHT Eyewitness News. “A good rule of thumb would be: ‘if your costume calls to mind an event where millions were killed, choose another costume.’”
“As we are learning through Megyn Kelly’s words as well, costumes where someone dresses up deliberately to mock someone’s race, religion or nationality should be avoided,” he said. “If the purpose of Halloween is to have fun—bigotry, anti-Semitism and racism are not fun. That should be common sense. This is not being “politically correct” this is simply being respectful, understanding and kind.”
Goldbach also criticized the hateful nature of some of the comments and threats that he had received online and in the streets.
“We saw people dressed as murderers, devils, serial killers, blood and gore of all sorts,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Nobody batted an eye. But my little boy and I, dress as historical figures, and it merits people not only making snide remarks, but approaching us and threatening my little 5-year-old boy. Yes liberalism is alive and well. And we had the displeasure of dealing with the fruits of the so called "Tolerant Left.""